"EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE, THEY LABOUR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT" Psalm 127:1
As four walls are essential in building a house, there are four disciplines essential in building a godly home. As walls enclose a house, protecting those who live there, these four disciplines hold the home together and protect the family from deadly temptations. Christian parents must practice these spiritual disciplines in their own lives and diligently seek to build them into the life of their children. They will not build in vain if they build these four walls around their homes for they are Biblical, and the Lord himself will use these to build strong homes for his glory!
Reverence is the first wall. " Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. " " Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God. . . for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few." " But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him. O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid" ( Ex 20:7; Eccl. 5:1-2; Hab. 20: 20 ).
The Christian home is the place where a child should learn reverence. The father and or the mother open the Bible and all reverently listen to the reading. It is the voice of God speaking. Then to bow our hearts together in prayer as we humble our spirits and even bow to our knees in reverence of our Holy God! Each of our children even the smallest child will sense God's presence as they practice reverence! As parents it is proper and productive to train our children to take these reverent times of worship very seriously. These times are to honor and focus on God himself without interruptions and interference's. Games, videos, texting, telephones, and the such should be set aside during these important times of building the wall of reverence.
Respect is the second wall. Respect for parents, grandparents, pastors, elders and others in authority. This second wall joins the first wall to the corner. As these two walls come together they jointly are strengthened by their union. These two disciplines are dependent upon each other. Where one is lacking, the other will be lacking also. The child who does not obey his parents or any other authority will certainly not reverence or fear God!
"There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation , whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives" ( Proverbs 30:11-14).
"Honor thy father and thy mother" is the first commandment with a promise. The Christian parent should train their children that when they say something that they mean it. And when they have to say something the second time it is best understood that there will be no third time. Talking back and disobedience should never be allowed. In years of experience I have observed that when one has not learned respect of parents or authority it does not take long to discover it. They will be spoiled, ill mannered, selfish, sassy, proud, and insolent. If this defect is not overcome by God's grace, they never become profitable to society and certainly never become effective Christian servants. No matter how much consecration they profess outwardly , they will never be effective because of what is inward. They have not been " washed from their filthiness"!
Truthfulness is the third wall. "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds" ( Col. 3:9).
This verse commands us to leave the lie system and come to the truth system. Lying is of the old depraved nature. It is innate in our human heart. Our children are like us, they never have to learn to lie but they have to learn to live truthful. The new birth in Christ and death to the old man is the only remedy. Yet the born again child of God can still participate in deceit. Truthfulness is honesty to others, oneself and to God. The integrity of truthfulness is protection and strength for every family. It is a very important wall to build in the christian home.
The Christian parent must sincerely honest before they will be able to teach their children honesty. It is in the home first that honesty must be built into a child's character. If parents do this first then the church, school, military and other important influences can build upon this much needed wall.
Purity is the fourth wall. " Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection. . . But now also put off . . . filthy communication out of your mouth" ( Col. 3:5-8).
Moral impurity is also a part of our old natures, and it everywhere around us. Much on television, internet, movies and other video media is full of provocative dress and out and out nudity. Many music lyrics are impure and unrighteous. Tons of publications are filled with easy access to see and read things that draw one to lust and immoral behavior. These things have no place in the Christian home. Parents should keep track of their children's reading material, internet sights, music lists, pictures files, tests, etc. Don't take anything for granted.
The world is corrupt and the venues for which immoral temptations come to our children are more numerous than ever. We may not be able to filter every venue but we can start by keeping impurity out of our homes the best we can. This world is corrupt, Satan is clever many dangers surround our family in our society but with God's help we can build the wall of purity in our homes and lead our children to choose our righteous Gods purity for themselves.
Lord help us to build these four walls to protect the moral and spiritual welfare of our homes: REVERENCE, RESPECT, TRUTHFULNESS, and PURITY!
Most people think the only way to change the world is to do something BIG! End world hunger, solve the national debt, bring world peace, discover the cure for cancer, build the largest church in town!
No doubt this list and many other BIG accomplishments would help to change our world for the better but the possibility for me and most of you to attain such is slim to nothing!
I seriously doubt that most of us will become the next Supreme Court Justice or invent the next world changing invention, let alone discover the cure for aids or cancer.
But each of us can still change the world each and every day if we decide to. Buying into the modern power of positive thinking mold can keep the normal person from believing that they can have a person role in being a "World Changer." The thought that we can do anything our minds can conceive is not biblical. And if we choose to think like that it will lead us to much discouragement and despair. We hear stories about great leaders and scientific discoverer's. We are told we can be anything we put our minds to. That just is not truth! Yes, we as Christ followers can many things that would seem impossible as we live in the power of our Lord. But to do anything we will, NO an thousand times. We can do whatever our Lord wills. We can accomplish all that our Lord desires for us and to be consumed on doing and being BIG is not the goal that we should investing life for!
Make no mistake that God has plans for some of His creation to introduce BIG solutions for health, government, economics, technology, education, and so forth. But he also has daily plans for each and every person to be "World Changers" in normal and practical ways !
Sincerely, we don't need more people believing they are to rise above others to be " World Changers." We have seen through history what that usually produces in the lives of those who dream such dreams. Often they only become lord's over people and the result hindering people not helping people. They seem to help at first only to hurt in the long haul. This election year is a clear illustration of such! We need more chiefs who continue to remember they are common citizens! Those who work hard, are honest, treat and speak of others with respect. Not people who believe they are to rise above others and take charge. In reality the common person will change their world to deeper depths and broader boarders in day by day actions.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY WORLD A BETTER PLACE --- EVERY DAY?
1. Show kindness and respect toward every person - daily! (Ephesians 4:32)
2. Refuse taking offense at small and large insults or hurts- daily! (Matthew 11:6 )
3. Speak positively to people who can do nothing for you, including children & elderly- daily! (Proverbs 18:21)
4. Smile at everyone you meet- daily! (Proverbs 15:30)
5. Take greater delight in doing things for others than for yourself-daily! (Romans 14:7)
6. Work hard with a positive attitude - daily! (Ephesians 4:28)
7. Refrain from speaking in negative ways about others - daily! (Ephesians 4:29)
8. Trust people until they prove you wrong - daily! ( 1st Corinthians 13:5)
9. Forgive people when they break your trust & begin to rebuild trust- daily! (Ephesians 4:32)
10. Make others feel comfortable in your presence - daily! ( 1st Corinthians 1:3-5)
11. Pray with people for their needs- daily! (James 5:16)
12. Be patient and long suffering with others- daily! (Ephesians 4:2)
13. Bring joy to every situation by rejoicing - daily! ( Philippians 4:4)
14. Relieve the pressures of life by lightening up and sharing a laugh with someone - daily! ( Proverbs 17:22)
14. Share the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ - daily! ( Mark 16:15)
As we incorporate these simple but profound acts we will see it isn’t the big things that make the world more livable in spite of its cursed conditions. It’s the little ones, and we can do them each and every day in every sitting. These actions will change our homes, work places, schools, communities, churches, our entire world.
I think each of us would agree that some of the most meaningful times of our life was when we received some personal encouragement. As I reflect over my years of life I can still remember many occasions where someone was used to encourage me in life and ministry. And that encouraging word or act made a major impact upon my present position in life and my future. I am sure each of you can testify to the same.
So, we need to ask ourselves who have we intentionally encouraged lately? And who do we need to appreciate more purposely because they have encouraged us so profoundly? If you want to make a difference in lives, be a purposeful encourager.
Parents, friends, pastors, teachers, small group leaders, prayer group leaders, etc. have a particular responsibility to consistently look for ways to encourage others.
Here is a quick list of 20 ideas for encouragement.
1. Share a applicable Bible verse with someone!
2. Extend a hearty handshake or an appropriate hug!
3. Avail yourself to be with someone personally!
4. Be willing to talk and listen!
5. Speak kindly, tenderly and lovingly!
6. Take out for coffee or a soda!
7. Visit them at there home or invite them to yours!
8. Send them a card, text, message or email!
9. Pray for them & let them know!
10. Better yet pray with them!
11. Give them a timely phone call!
12. Give them a small gift, it will mean the world.
13. Write them a handwritten note!
14. Post your appreciation & friendship on Facebook!
15. Tell them something you really respect them for!
16. Let them know you plan to be a long term friend!
17. Share humor and let them laugh with you!
18. A smile is always an encouragement!
19. Look for times to say great job today!
20. Tell other to encourage those who need it!
There are unnumbered ways to encourage. The main thing is that we begin to do it as soon as possible. Find someone each day who needs encouraged and get at it!
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.